Saturday 1 June 2019

Rutland Water (3)

Saturday 1 June

The promise of a lovely warm and sunny day so up early and at Rutland Water by 7.30.  All very quiet on Burley Fishponds having already recorded Collared Dove, Magpie and Rook as I approached this fabulous site.  Woodpigeons and Jackdaws in the neighbouring trees and Mute Swan, Greylag and Canada Geese on or near the water itself.  Just a couple of Great Crested Grebe and no more than a dozen Coot so I made my way over to the Visitors Centre picking up a Pied Wagtail as I departed and both House Sparrow and Common Starling as I drove through Egleton.

Apart from the occasional Jackdaw and a Goldfinch atop a nearby tree all seemed very quiet and no activity on the feeding station so on towards Lagoons 4 and 3.  A number of Blackbirds were moving around and a quick stop at the Redshank Hide on Lagoon 2 produced Mallard, Tufted Duck and the breeding Sand Martins at the artificial nesting site opposite the hide.

One of many Lapwing Vanellus vanellus

So onto the first main stop at the Sandpiper Hide at Lagoon 4.  A few Carrion Crows in addition to the local Jackdaws and immediately settled I could see the good number of Lapwing and Black-headed GullsMute Swans on the water and both Canada and Greylag Geese nearby  but also maybe a dozen or more resting Common Tern.  Not just Shelduck present but also a distant Oysercatcher and Grey Plover.

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea

The short walk to the Shoveler Hide overlooking Lagoon 3 was also relatively quiet but a number of Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard and especially Tufted Duck were recorded.  Just the odd Great Crested Grebe and a number of nesting Black-headed Gulls in addition to a few feeding Common Tern.  Both Greylag and Canada Geese, many with goslings, were also seen here.  A Heron came to rest in the shallow pool to my right and immediately below the hide a pair of nesting Reed Warblers.  Finally, a lone Moorhen put in an appearance at the back of the pool to my left.

Record shot of Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus

A quick look at the same water from the Crake Hide produced a Cormorant and then to the Smew Hide where not only nesting Black-headed Gulls were found once more along with Coot, Mute Swan and Tufted Duck but also Common Tern on both small artificial islands.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo with Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus
making my way back to the feeding station near the main Visitors Centre I found a small family party of Long-tailed Tits at at the feeding station itself both Great and Blue Tits along with Dunnock, Blackbird and House SparrowsPheasants were busy calling all around me but for me it was homeward bound via the Lyndon Centre.

Male Common Pochard Aythya ferina
Passing the eastern end of Manton Bay I could see one of the Osprey parents at the traditional nest (four chicks this year) and once at the Visitors Centre a close view of a visiting Great Spotted Woodpecker along with Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Greenfinch.  A family of Pied Wagtails was feeding nearby and on the water many more Mute Swans and even a small number of Herring Gulls on the far bank.  All in all a lovely couple of hours which produced over 40 species.

Birds seen:
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Heron, Osprey, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sand Martin, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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